International Women's Day - Meet Kahina Founder, Katherine L'Heureux

International Women's Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the many achievements of women and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality.

They say that behind every successful woman is a tribe of women who have her back. We have been fortunate to become acquainted with many strong, confident, generous women visionaries who share our vision of uplifting and empowering women with healthy beauty. We would like to introduce you to a few of these women. Every day, until March 8th, we will feature a new visionary on our blog.

 

Today, we introduce Katherine L'Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty. We first met Katharine in 2012 when we launched Kahina at ORESTA. She spoke about the magic of argan oil: Morocco's 'liquid gold' and her creation of Kahina: a luxurious holistic line of organic argan oil skin care products.

Katharine is a dynamic and inspiring woman who exudes radiance and grace. Kahina's philanthropic philosophy is 'Women Helping Women Through Shared Beauty Rituals' and Katharine works with the Berber women of Morocco who extract the argan oil using techniques that have been passed down through generations. All of Kahina's products are produced from start to finish with consideration of cultural and environmental sustainability. Katharine visits the women's cooperatives in Morocco and donates a percentage of Kahina profits to support programs that improve the lives of these women whose signatures grace Kahina's packaging. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

K:   International Women’s Day has never felt more meaningful than it does this year.  As a US citizen who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I witnessed much change in the status of women and in our ability to make choices and accomplish things that an earlier generation would not have dreamed of.  I was fortunate to come of age and to enter the workforce when these rights were becoming norms.  As these rights that I have taken for granted become challenged under our new administration, I appreciate them as privileges worth fighting for.  My daughter is 23 years old. I want her to grow up with the same opportunities that I had, without fear of oppression, aggression or inequality, and with the confidence that anything is possible.

What woman has been an inspiration to you?

K:   I hold a great deal of respect for Meryl Streep at the moment.  Not only she is incredibly talented but she is using her spotlight as a platform to bravely speak out against injustice.

What impact does the Kahina brand have on women?

K:   A cornerstone of the Kahina brand is to provide economic opportunity to the Berber women of rural Morocco who do the work of cracking the nuts for the oil at the heart of our line.  We also donate a percentage of our revenue to contribute to programs that support them and their families.   We have seen a significant improvement in the lives of these women since I first began Kahina almost 9 years ago.  For one thing, in the village where I source my oil, the homes now have electricity and running water where there was none before.

I’ve been lucky to be an early founder in the green beauty movement.  I hope we have helped to elevate the conversation by raising awareness of the health importance of using clean ingredients, demonstrating that a green brand can be every bit as luxurious as its traditional counterpart, and that beauty goes deeper than simply using cosmetic products.

What would you like young women to know about International Women’s Day?

K:   Don’t take the rights you have for granted.  You have grown up in a time of unprecedented freedom.  These freedoms were hard won by many fearless women who came before you.  Continue the fight in their spirit for yourself.  Use the advantages you were born with to fight for women around the world.  


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